Taxi operators oppose LTFRB's move to add more Grabcars

Taxi operators, Iloilo City dad oppose LTFRB’s move to add more Grabcars

Taxi operators, Iloilo City dad oppose LTFRB's move to add more Grabcars


ILOILO CITY — A taxi group on Panay Island and an Iloilo City councilor have urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) not to implement a memorandum that would expand the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) market.

Perfecto Yap, president of the Association of Taxi Operators in Panay (ATOP), which represents more than 2,800 taxi units across the island, lamented the lack of public consultations on the matter.


He warned that the entry of more TNVS entities and units would completely wipe out taxicabs in the long run, citing the former’s advantage of accessibility through mobile phone applications.


LTFRB issued on May 7 Board Resolution No. 057, which seeks to add 5,050 new TNVS units in Visayas and Mindanao between 2024 and 2025 with 1,650 allocations for Western Visayas, including 1,600 in 2024 and 50 in 2025.

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“That [1,650] is almost 60 to 70 percent of [ATOP member-]taxis currently operating in Panay [Island]. We’re talking now of stiff competition. Although, officially they would only operate legally, they will only operate through their apps. They would no longer need to fan over passengers on the roads,” Yap said in a phone interview.

Yap hoped that taxis and TNVS could be treated on an equal footing, emphasizing that they did not oppose their presence but merely the lack of public consultations by the LTFRB.

“The concept of a TNVS is that they’re supposed to be a secondary means of livelihood. They’re supposed to be carried by the owner as the driver. But what is happening is that there is a different driver. In other words, it defeats the purpose of having that kind of activity,” he stated.

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Iloilo City Councilor Romel Duron said he planned to file a resolution urging the LTFRB to reconsider its Board Resolution No. 057.

Duron, who had been a hearing officer of the LTFRB-Western Visayas before running for city council in 2019, said he was shocked at the resolution, noting the lack of public consultations on the regional level.

He said that if the TNVS entities were allowed to add units, it would be disadvantageous to the more than 3,000 taxis plying the city roads.

Duron also mentioned that the TNVS company Grab, which is one of his clients as a lawyer, had vowed to hold off adding units in Iloilo City in the meantime due to profitability concerns.

“Whether we like it or not, [TNVS] competes with taxis. Their (taxi drivers’) livelihood is already shrinking with the entry of Grab. Grab has 1,000 allotments, while taxis have around 3,000 allotments. With 4,000 [vehicles], where would they roam in the city?” Duron said.

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“LTFRB, which is supposed to regulate [public transport], becomes a franchise milling company. It no longer regulates if there is an excess,” he added.

TAGS: Grabcar, Iloilo

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